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A Conversation With… Dr. Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas
President of the International Hypnosis Federation
Interviewed by Seth-Deborah Roth, ATH Co-Editor of Hypnotherapy
"Have you ever been in love?
Then for sure you have been hypnotized."
Seth Deborah: There are some negative connotations around hypnotherapy, like so many of the alternative therapies not understood by the mainstream. Some even fear being hypnotized. What can you tell us to dissuade any fear, and what are some good reasons to see a hypnotist?
Shelley: Have you ever been in love? Then for sure you have been hypnotized. Love is one gigantic trance. Hypnosis helps you fall in love with yourself and the gifts within you. Everyone naturally goes in and out of hypnosis. Trance came with the package of your consciousness. You’ve entranced yourself today: upon awakening, taking a shower, daydreaming, runner’s high, reading, deep in thought, watching TV, video games, a boring meeting, a freeway drive… You alter state when you blink or close your eyes.
You program yourself with your self-talk and stories you tell yourself. You create what you believe… or don’t believe. Hurtful stories create stress, limits, weight, hang-ups, and illness. Helpful stories create peace, fitness, smooth sailing, and good habits. One truth remains clear; for YOU to be happy, YOU must master your mind.
Your family, and your world influence you if you don’t pay attention. Rapid-fire commercials bombard you with ideas so attractively packaged they may by-pass reason. Huge sums are paid to get you to get the message and buy, buy, buy. We buy products, politicians, needs, beliefs, wars, philosophies, styles… everything. Hypnosis is often under veiled titles. In public education it’s called “mindful training,” “learning games,” “imagination,” “conjecture,” “creative exercises,” “concentration,” “focused study,” “memorization,” and “visualization.” In the military it’s called boot camp. In religion it’s called Sunday school. In fraternal orders its indoctrination.
You see, conscious hypnosis is a real eye-opener that overrides the “authority” spell of family, peers, teachers, preachers, gurus, drill sergeants, generals, politicians, lawyers, white coats, media personalities, advertisers, promoters, organizations, and society. That way you de-hypnotize and re-hypnotize yourself for joy, money, love, wellness, fun, success and peace of mind. A good professional Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist, Hypnocoach or Hypnocounselor awakens you from hurtful self-hypnosis and re-hypnotizes you into helpful self-hypnosis.
Though not magic, the profound results of hypnosis seem like magic. Hypnosis lets you relax, renew, re-member, re-frame, re-script, re-program, release, re-enforce, and re-cycle any attitude or behavior YOU choose. Hypnosis springs you into positive action. A professional hypnotist is an expert who puts you in the driver’s seat of yourself.
"The hypnotist enters into the sacred realms of thought to bring you a deep and often permanent attitude adjustment."
Seth Deborah: This is a question that sounds simple and one that I'm sure you receive all the time. How does hypnosis really work? Is there a simple answer?
Shelley: In a way hypnosis is like electricity. We know how to use it and we know how to get results but we haven’t a clue about what it really is. Formal hypnosis is a series of techniques that allow you to be your best. Professional Hypnotists spend a great deal of time mastering helpful approaches. Phill Wells says it well: “I call Hypnosis the XYZ technique; X to X-out past, unpleasant experiences, Y because we like you, and Z because everyone likes their ZZZ’s.”
A good way to think about hypnosis is in terms of the computer. Every sensory perception is taken in by your computer mind that incorporates the data into a big hologram. Everything you create starts as a conscious or subconscious thought. Habits (good, bad or utilitarian), emotion and memory are all created by some mysterious internal dialogue. The hypnotist enters into the sacred realms of thought to bring you a deep and often permanent attitude adjustment. You can be hypnotized by relaxing or when highly charged with energy. You can be hypnotized with your eyes open or closed. You can be hypnotized in thirty seconds or gradually. I teach my students 27 different principles that induce trance. Most of these work by taking a person’s natural perceptions and then adding a suggestion. It is a blast to learn how to hypnotize your kids to pick up their socks or someone to fall madly in love with you. It is even more fun to hypnotize yourself to love you.
Seth Deborah: What is the mind and why is the mind affected by hypnosis?
Shelley: What is mind? Where is your mind? Have you lost it? Did you find it? Where are thoughts when you’re not thinking them? What happens when you change your mind? Mind and thoughts are intangible. Like walking; you know you walk yet, after you walk, where’s the walking? Your mind mysteriously transcends time and space to visit parallel universes. Your mind performs alchemy. If you eat no fat, your mind turns non-fat into fat, to keep you from starving. A smile cascades feel-good chemicals to your entire self.
Your mind is a great creator or ruthless destroyer. It brings celebration or a pity-party. It can be self-directed or a mindless robot. It is the ignition or the brake. How do you become one with such duality? Does your brain create mind, or does something else create mind? If you are clueless about how or even why you generate thoughts, feelings, imagination, inner dialog, or store and retrieve knowledge and memory, your mind doesn’t mind… it just hums along making you- YOU.
"Hypnosis is fun-da-mental; it puts the fun back in the mental... So does just flat out laughing.
The funnier it gets the funnier it gets!"
Seth Deborah: You're a funny person and you have a belief that laughter and feeling joy is important to overall health. How can hypnosis help bring joy and laughter into our lives?
Shelley: Hypnosis is fun-da-mental; it puts the fun back in the mental. Everything is attitude. Research shows that humor grows creative cooperative teams, manages conflict and builds over-all productivity. Loving laughter has great powers to uplift, well, and bond you in co-operative and friendly ways. A lot of clients come to me with a disease I call “nagaholicism.” Negativity is sickening. Try this for yourself say “no” three times and notice how you feel. Now say “Yes” three times and notice the difference. You positively change your brain chemistry.
Hypnotic suggestions like “I am keenly aware of my thoughts and talk and quickly change them to positive” work wonders. So does just flat out laughing. The funnier it gets the funnier it gets!
Seth Deborah: You are the founder of the International Hypnosis Federation. Why was it important to you to create this organization and what is it's main focus and goal?
Shelley: In 1988, Ormond McGill, the Dean of American Hypnosis and I put our heads together. We wanted to create an inclusive group of like-minded people. Mind, body, spirit and fun is our theme, and celebrating each person’s unique gifts the goal. The International Hypnosis Federation and hypnosisfederation.com has now grown into a thriving international organization. Our well-trained IHF instructors teach wonderful students worldwide. Their specialties include: hypnosis, hypnotherapy, coaching, medical/dental hypnosis, anger management, conflict resolution, crisis intervention, forensics, marketing, sports enhancement, hypno-reiki, hypno-tarot, past life regression, spiritual counseling and more. Anyone can join us and attend our wonderful Hypnosis Federation’s “It’s All About YOU Conference” the first weekend of March in San Pedro, California. We have 90 world-class presenters who generously share what they know. I love answering the phone to talk with people who are bettering themselves. I consider myself the coach for many. I love and breathe my work. My work is my play, my play is my work; I love to plork! It is so fun to celebrate so many amazing people.
Seth Deborah: Tell us about the most important facets of your work, and about the books that you've authored.
Shelley: Just like you Seth Deborah, and the good folks at All Things Healing, the most important part of my work is that I LOVE what I do. When I became a Hypnotherapist- over 30 years ago- I set out to teach others these great tools I had learned… to give them away so others could help change the world one person at a time. So I wrote a book and produce CDs and DVDs. I can barely believe I have written 14 books and am about to deliver 3 more. I am obsessed with teaching what I know. It seems to open the door to know more. Isn’t it odd that the more you learn, the less you know? My most recent book Stockwell’s Hypnosis Dictionary Script Book gives away all the secrets of thousands of techniques to make you happy and to help others be happy too. It can be downloaded on Kindle and other electronic devices or in a hard copy by calling me at (310) 541-4844 or e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the list of my labor of love:
AUTOMATIC WRITING & HEIROSCRIPTING: Tap Unlimited Creativity & Guidance
DENIAL IS NOT A RIVER IN EGYPT: Overcome Addiction, Compulsion & Depression
EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING (with McGill)
HYPNOSIS: Smile On Your Face, Money In Your Pocket (all new 2010)
HYPNO-TAROT by Stockwell and James Wanless
INSIDES OUT: Love Yourself Poetry
McGILL'S HYPNOTHERAPY ENCYCLOPEDIA (with Stockwell)
SEX & OTHER TOUCHY SUBJECTS; Love Yourself Poetry
STOCKWELL'S GREAT SHAPE FOR WEIGHT CONTROL INSTRUCTOR’S MANUAL: 10 Easy Steps to a New You!
STOCKWELL’S HYPNOSIS DICTIONARY SCRIPT BOOK
STOCKWELL’S STAGE HYPNOSIS MADE EASY
THE SEARCH FOR COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS: The Hypnosis Book Einstein Would Have Loved (with McGill)
THE SECRETS OF HYPNOTIZING WOMEN
TIME TRAVEL: The Do It Yourself Past Life Journey Handbook
Click here to learn more and to order books.
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International Hypnosis Federation
Hypnosis can change the world.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "He/she is looking at the world through rose-colored glasses?" The reality that each of us inhabits is colored by the lens of our perception, through the subconscious mind. It causes our heart to beat, our lungs to breathe, and our body to regulate itself. Without it we could not function.
Much of our daily lives is filtered through this 'automatic' part of the mind; this is usually a good thing. If we did not have this filter and were always analyzing everything around us we would be constantly overwhelmed by sensory input, like developing infants are. That's why we analyze & recognize patterns and we automatically associate the present with experiences from our past. It could be difficult to function without this subconscious filter.
However, sometimes people get caught up in 'automatic' patterns that do not suit them any longer. Hypnosis allows an individual to access the subconscious mind and have control over these patterns, to alter them in ways that better suit them. This is the power of hypnosis. It allows you to master your own mind and become a 'master-mind.'
Hypnosis can help you to:
- Lose Weight
- Quit Smoking
- Overcome addiction
- Become a better athlete
- Control pain
- Overcome fears and phobias
- Be more confident
- Birth a child naturally and painlessly
- Express positivity
- Stop insomnia
- Promote personal health
- Be calm
- Meet your goals
- Find financial success
- Increase your spirituality
- Feel Great
- End behavior patterns that no longer suit you
We train hypnotists and hypnotherapists, inform the public about hypnosis, and we promote the well-being of our members and our community. We've been doing it for over 25 years.